99 minutes, U.K., 1956, Black and White, 35mm

We are pleased to have journalist and broadcaster Una Mullally at the IFI to introduce this screening.

Nominated for the Palme d’Or in 1956 and considered significant enough upon release as to merit a screening for the members of the House of Lords, Yield to the Night has been unfairly neglected since.

Featuring Diana Dors in by far her most nuanced role as a convicted murderer, the film, a powerful anti-death penalty statement, chronicles her time in prison, awaiting the final verdict on her execution. In this time, extraordinary relationships develop between Mary and her all-female prison wardens, particularly with Yvonne Mitchell’s Hilda MacFarlane, a woman who has no frame of reference for understanding Mary’s experiences but who devotes everything in an effort to contest that limitation. (Notes by Alice Butler.)

This event is part of Beyond the Bechdel Test, our season throughout July focusing on the work of directors who have explored the complex ties between women that are an integral aspect of the films’ narratives, named after the American cartoonist Alison Bechdel who introduced the idea in her 1985 comic strip.

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